LGBTQIA+ Welcoming & Affirming

We welcome you regardless of race, class, gender, physical challenge, place of origin, or sexual orientation.



What is Welcoming & Affirming?

First Rochester is a fully inclusive, Welcoming and Affirming Church. That means we not only welcome LGBTQIA+ persons into every phase and aspect of church life, but we affirm their identities as made in the image of God. We wish such statements didn’t need to be made. We wish that full inclusion of all people and affirmation of people of all genders and sexualities were simply the norm and able to be taken for granted. Because they are not, we will continue to proclaim God’s love of all people with PRIDE!



Our Welcome Statement

We seek to be a welcoming community where every child of God is included. We welcome and affirm as God’s people all who wish to join us in our journey of faith. Individually we espouse soul freedom, endeavoring to live by the moral and ethical principles taught by Christ and revealed in scripture, realizing that God is the ultimate and sole judge of our thoughts and actions. As a worshipping community, we celebrate and seek to be worthy trustees of God’s creation in all its diversity. We uphold freedom of religious expression, expect no conformity to any creed, and strive for social justice within all human relationships. If it is your desire explore your journey of faith with us, come and visit.


A Few Resources

There are many excellent resources available to assist in learning more about the LBGTQIA+ community. Below are a few to get your started.  We would love for you to come and visit with us so we can share God’s love with you and answer your specific questions.



You can check out the Rochester Rainbow Union for a directory of local resources, a great listing of all pride events in the local area, as well as a free clothing closet. They also have the largest LGBTQIA+ library in the state!



“The Bible rarely addresses homosexuality, and all modern theological and ethical discussions of same-sex relationships are based roughly on six bible passages.” Read here about the clobber verses that Christians often misinterpret.

“I wanted to share Christ and disciple others and was gearing up for a lifetime of furthering the kingdom of God. But, I was gay.” Read one man’s journey into searching the Bible for answers.



Do you consider yourself an ally? Are you trying to be an ally? Check out this great selection of books to educate yourself further.


Though there are many local options, The Christian Closet specializes in virtual LGBTQ+ mental and spiritual health services.



First Rochester is an active participant in the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists (AWAB) who has an extensive resource library.